The honorees range from professors and researchers to CEOs, entrepreneurs, and machine shop managers. This marks the sixth year of the program of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, a publication by SME.
Shao joined MechSE in August 2016 after earning his PhD that year at the University of Michigan.
At Illinois, he runs the Automation and Digital Manufacturing Lab, an interdisciplinary group that conducts research and innovation activities to enhance the automation and intelligence of manufacturing. His research focus is on improving product quality, reducing production cost, and promoting manufacturing efficiency through developing and applying methodologies in a wide range of fields, including manufacturing, quality engineering, statistics, and machine learning. Current projects include big data-enabled smart manufacturing; multi-level integration of modeling, monitoring, and control; and data-fusion for health care.
Shao, who studied under Professor S. Jack Hu and Professor Jionghua (Judy) Jin, has already seen some success in his own work.
“So far our research has been making a difference in the manufacturing industry. For instance, for the first time, we successfully developed an innovative quality monitoring system for the ultrasonic metal welding process, which was implemented in the Chevy Volt battery plant, and is currently performing successfully. The implementation of this monitoring system has not only enhanced the battery pack quality of the Chevy Volt, but also significantly decreased the production cost by reducing the manual inspection rate at the battery plant from 100% to below 20%. These achievements greatly improved the competitiveness of Chevy Volt, and more generally promoted vehicle electrification in the USA,” he said.
Shao was profiled in the July 2018 issue of Manufacturing Engineering magazine.